The way antiques are viewed has changed over the years according to William Park writing for BBC Future.
The first change is how antiques are defined. An antique used to be an object that was at least 100 years old. In 2009, a New York antique fair defined antiques to include items manufactured in 1969 or earlier. By 2016, there was no age limit set for what could be included in the fair.
Another concern of William Park is how few items of furniture in homes today will become antiques. Flat-pack furniture has dominated the cheaper end of the furniture market. This is regarded as disposable furniture that is thrown away after a few years’ use. There is a trend for replacing items when they get worn rather than repairing them.
High-end designers are still selling furniture that is designed to last, but this is a niche market. They will probably become the antiques of the future, but with fewer items available, prices are expected to rise to make antiques unaffordable except for the rich.
What is changing is increased awareness of the environmental impact of throwing away items. This could cause the younger generation to buy fewer, but purchase better quality goods that last. William Park asks us to imagine owning objects that are:
“Lovingly restored and enjoyed through the generations – despite their age and imperfections.”
Antique lovers are assured that currently there is no shortage of antique chests, chairs sofas and other furniture in Lancashire antique dealers that are over 100 years old.
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